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No swimming at Terry Trueblood Recreation Area ‘until water quality improves’


People and pooches alike cool off in the lake at Terry Trueblood Recreation Center, September 2021. — Emma McClatchey/Little Village

There will be no swimming permitted at Terry Trueblood Recreation Area, “due to the level of E. Coli detected in Sand Lake,” the Iowa City Parks and Recreation Department announced on Thursday afternoon.

Sand Lake isn’t the only local swimming spot currently having this problem. Last Friday, Lake Macbride was one of seven eastern Iowa state park lakes included on the Iowa Department of Natural Resources list of beaches with elevated E. Coli levels. DNR advises against swimming at Lake Macbride and these other six locations in eastern Iowa:

• Backbone Beach

• Beed’s Lake Beach

• Denison Beach

• George Wyth Beach

• Lake Darling Beach

• North Twin Lake West Beach

E Coli is a rod-shaped bacteria that found in the gastrointestinal tract and feces of warm-blooded animals. It is common in lakes, streams and rivers, but elevated levels are a strong indication that a body of water is contaminated by sewage or animal waste, both of which can contain disease-causing organisms.

Parks and Rec said the swimming ban at Terry Trueblood “will last indefinitely until water quality improves.” Iowa DNR updates its list of contaminated beaches on Friday. The current list is available through the DNR Beach Monitoring Hotline, 515-725-3434.

Looking north at Lake Macbride from the Macbride Nature Recreation Area. — Jordan Sellergren/Little Village

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